Medicaid was created in 1965 as a safety net for the poor. But Obamacare distorted it, edging the U.S. closer to a Medicaid-for-all or single-payer system. Swelling the Medicaid rolls — not making private insurance affordable — is the main way Obamacare dealt with the uninsured.
Almost 75 million people are now enrolled, 20 million more than in Medicare, the program for the elderly. If the repeal bill doesn’t pass, Medicaid enrollment will soar to 86 million by 2026, according to a Congressional Budget Office analysis released Monday.
Who’s picking up the tab for this vast Medicaid expansion? You. Worse, you pay twice — once as a taxpayer, and then again as an insurance consumer. Families with private insurance pay $1,500 to $2,000 or more in added premiums yearly already to keep Medicaid afloat. The more Medicaid expands, the higher their premiums will go. That’s because Medicaid shortchanges hospitals and doctors, paying less than the actual cost of care. They make up for it by shifting the costs onto privately insured patients. Ouch.
That cost shifting only works until Medicaid enrollment grows too large. The Mayo Clinic warned three months ago that Medicaid enrollment has reached the tipping point. The renowned clinic announced it will have to turn away some Medicaid patients or put them at the back of the line, behind patients with commercial insurance.
Years earlier, when Obamacare was still being debated in Congress, the dean and CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine, Dr. Edward Miller, issued a similar warning: Allowing a vast expansion of Medicaid could have “catastrophic effects” at places like Hopkins.
His dire prediction came true. Obamacare loosened Medicaid eligibility rules and urged states to enroll as many people as possible, with Uncle Sam paying 100 percent of the tab until 2016 and 90 percent or more thereafter.
Medicaid enrollment spiked in many states, including New York, where it skyrocketed up by a third to 6.3 million. Blame the incentive to rake in federal dollars.
And waste money. Roughly 10.5 percent of Medicaid payments are in error. Any company with that record would be out of business….
In fact, quite the contrary. The Senate bill will codify and make permanent the Medicaid expansion, and will, in fact, have the federal government pay the lion’s share of the cost. Remember, ObamaCare created a new category of eligibility. Working age, able-bodied adults with no dependents for the first time became eligible for Medicaid if their income is below 138 percent of the poverty level. [editor’s note: which is why it (the ACA) should be repealed completely, not replaced!]
The Left’s rhetoric is legend, here you can see it in action regarding Medicaid:
…It doesn’t help that news reports criminally misrepresent the CBO score, stating flatly that 22 million people will “lose” insurance under the plan. Or when ostensibly neutral news articles announce that Medicaid will be “slashed” or “gutted” under the Senate bill.
In fact, the bill merely slows Medicaid’s rate of growth. Under the Senate plan, federal Medicaid spending would still increase $73 billion by 2026 — and while that’s well below the scheduled amount of spending under Obamacare, conservatives maintain the current law’s trajectory is unsustainable…
This remind’s me of when the Democrats said Bush was cutting benefits to veteran’s, but in fact he was raising them mroe than during Clinton’s tenure:
Only in government does slowing the growth of spending mean “cuts”
FORBES deals with a couple of the lies/myths by the Left in regard to “cuts.”
False claim: Growing costs are the main problem & per capita cap funding will not be enough
Reality: Enrollment growth is driving spending increases and per capita caps are a good first step towards reform
When the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) scored these bills, the projected savings from changes in Medicaid were almost entirely related to Medicaid enrollment changes– not capping the program. In fact, analysis by my colleague Jonathan Ingram at the Foundation for Government Accountability has shown that, historically, almost all states would not have exceeded the caps set in the House bill. Just 0.4 percent of spending would have exceeded the cap.
Actually, the caps are projected to grow at a higher rate than projected spending for seniors and the disabled. (4.8% projected for 2019 and beyond vs. 4.6%)
Altogether, if the caps had been in place starting in 2000, actual spending growth would have remained lower than the targets set by BCRA.
But here is the line of cutting spending overall… remember, not by capping the program:
But in reality, the benefits of Medicaid is lacking, as any government program:
Medicaid is a program that is rife with inefficiency. A 2015 study found that recipients derived only 20 to 40 cents of benefit for every dollar governments spend on it. Researchers have struggled to find any positive effects Medicaid has on beneficiaries’ physical health. — Ramesh Ponnuru
“If enacted, the President’s budget would be a major down payment on federal entitlement reform. It cannot be overemphasized that analysts and economists, often of very different political persuasions, are united in their conviction that policymakers must take decisive steps to slow the growth of federal entitlement spending. By putting Medicaid on a budget—either through a fixed allotment to the states in the form of a block grant or a per capita cap—the Trump budget would give state officials much needed flexibility in managing the program and better target services to the poorest and most vulnerable of our citizens.” — Robert Moffit
In September, the Department of Health and Human Services sent out a warning that improper payments under Medicaid have become so common that they will account this year for almost 12 percent of total Medicaid spending — just shy of $140 billion. (Total improper payments across federal programs will come to about $139 billion this year, according to estimates that have proved too generous in the past, and almost all of that is Medicaid-driven.) That rate has doubled in only a few years, driven mostly by the so-called Affordable Care Act’s liberalization of Medicaid-eligibility rules. — Kevin D. Williamson
And there is waste in other areas as well. CNS-NEWS has an article on how many children are born on Medicare…
New Mexico led all states with 72 percent of the babies born there in 2015 having their births covered by Medicaid.
Arkansas ranked second with 67 percent; Louisiana ranked third with 65 percent; and three states—Mississippi, Nevada and Wisconsin—tied for fourth place with 64 percent of babies born there covered by Medicaid.
New Hampshire earned the distinction of having the smallest percentage of babies born on Medicaid. In that state, Medicaid paid for the births of only 27 percent of the babies born in 2015.
Virginia and Utah tied for the next to last position, with 31 percent of the babies born on Medicaid.
However, according to KFF, some of the nation’s most populous states shared the distinction of having 50 percent or more of the babies born there born on Medicaid.
In California, Florida and Illinois, for example, 50 percent of all babies were born on Medicaid in the latest year on record.
In New York, 51 percent of the babies were born on Medicaid.
In Ohio, 52 percent of babies were born on Medicaid.
The Kaiser Family Foundation gathered its data on the number of babies born on Medicaid in each state by surveying the state Medicaid directors.
“Medicaid directors were asked to provide the most recent available data on the share of all births in their states that were financed by Medicaid,” said a KFF report.
“About half of the states were able to provide data for calendar 2015 or fiscal year 2015,” said KFF. “Other states generally provided data from 2013 or 2014. On average, states reported that Medicaid pays for just over 47 percent of all births.”
“Eight states (Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina and West Virginia) reported that Medicaid pays for 60 percent or more of all births in their state,” reported KFF.
By 2010, according this report, the percentage of births in the United States covered by Medicaid had risen to 47.75 percent—or 1,805,151 out of 3,780,519 total births.
Another report, published by the Centers for Disease Control and Preventionlater in December 2013, looked at the form of payment for births in the 33 states and the District of Columbia that as of 2010 had adopted the 2003 version of “U.S. Standard Certificate for Live Birth.” This certificate specifically asks the mother to say which of four categories the payment for her child’s birth falls into: private insurance, Medicaid, self-pay, or other.
This data, according to the CDC, covered all 2010 births in the 33 states and the District of Columbia, which accounted for 76 percent of all births in the nation in that year. According to the CDC, this data revealed that 44.9 percent of the babies born in these jurisdictions in 2010 were born on Medicaid.
In this 2010 CDC data for 33 states, New Mexico also led with the highest percentage of births on Medicaid—with 57.5 percent of all babies born there that year having their births covered by Medicaid.
When I see this it is the same thing as the Pentagon buying a toilet seat for $640, I expect everyone to be besides themselves with that. The same thing I expect with the above list. The problem is that Democrats are pinning their single-payer hopes on Medicaid.
President Obama bypassed Congress and appointed Dr. Donald M. Berwick, a health policy expert, to run Medicare and Medicaid. (Posted by: Religio-Political Talk) In this short critique of a 2008 speech (video included) Dr. Berwick gave in Britain railing against our health system, Dennis Prager zeroes in on the Left’s fascination with “equality” and not “quality.” Not to mention that the free-market allows the most poor and disadvantaged to be helped that any other system yet. Here is a simple illustration: http://youtu.be/OI1sWq0Nakk
From a discussion on FB, I reference the above audio and say this:
Do you really think, Nick Novotny, that by edict, cost can be capped without costs being passed on to consumers elsewhere? Or, like in Canada, technology (MRIs, Cat-scans, mammograms, etc) takes a hit and fewer and fewer people can get the care they need. Just like that, a magic “government wand” and walla, costs are down and care percentages are up? Please, the naivete. As Dr. Dorin points out in his #4 of five reasons doctors do not like Obamacare:
4. The Ghost of Donald Berwick: Former Obama appointee and head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Doctor Donald Berwick, was openly in praise of the British National Health System. His admiration for socialized medicine was so great that he actively worked to fashion Obamacare into a powerful force to restrict the prescription drugs which doctors can write for you. Berwick and others utilized the concept of mini-HMOs, called ACOs, for “Accountable Care Organizations,” to begin the design of mandated electronic ordering systems that will limit the medicines which you can be given by your physician. ACOs will have almost unlimited control over the computer screen “platform” which displays ordering options for e-prescriptions. If your favorite medicine is not on the platform, good luck!
Dinesh D’Souza has revealed in an excellent article why he is a leading culturally minded conservative commentator/author of our day. I suggest reading the whole article, but D’Souza quotes from his fathers article where he says:
“We need to eliminate power structures that have been built through excessive accumulation so that not only a few individuals shall control a vast magnitude of resources as is the case now.” The senior Obama proposed that the state confiscate private land and raise taxes with no upper limit. In fact, he insisted that “theoretically there is nothing that can stop the government from taxing 100% of income so long as the people get benefits from the government commensurate with their income which is taxed.” (page 3 of mentioned article)
This statement that may seemingly drive some of Obama’s thinking, brings to mind another statement made by his science czar, John Holdren. (Posts on Holdren at RPT, and at Blogspot [see Obama’s Czars].) Here is an impromptu attempted interview with Holdren… and take note these guys are radicals and wish to use and subvert language and definitions. So when Holdren says he was talking about using the free market to get his plans implemented, he doesn’t mean by allowing the free market to do so without coercion. His phrase in this exchange, environmental equality – is a code word for this coercion. Like Prager says, you can either have equality, or liberty, you cannot however, have them both.
The Blaze mentions that Holdrens co-authors, Paul and Anne H. Ehrlich, called for wealth redistribution (both within and among nations) “absolutely essential” in order to provide a decent life for everyone. Which makes sense of this goal quoted here:
Resources must be diverted from frivolous and wasteful uses in overdeveloped countries to filling the genuine needs of underdeveloped countries,” Holdren and his co-authors wrote. ”This effort must be largely political, especially with regard to our overexploitation of world resources, but the campaign should be strongly supplemented by legal and boycott action against polluters and others whose activities damage the environment. The need for de-development presents our economists with a major challenge. They must design a stable, low-consumption economy in which there is a much more equitable distribution of wealth than in the present one. Redistribution of wealth both within and among nations is absolutely essential, if a decent life is to be provided for every human being.
This is all providing explanations for D’Souza’s list of apparent contradictions in Obama’s actions as an AMERICAN President. I look forward to Dinesh’s book. It should provide meat for the soul and mind. By the way, if you do not know about Paul Ehrlich background and failed predictive powers, I highly suggest a book by Julian Simon entitled, Hoodwinking the Nation. An absolutely fascinating read (click the book cover for a quick intro about the bet the two men made about resources). May I finish that when a person tells you that the two parties are the same, they have no idea what they are talking about.
Obama shouldn’t want his “son” to play football because he may die under Obama-Care!
In the vast majority of states, the number of insurers competing in the state’s exchange is actually less than the number of carriers that previously sold individual market policies in the state.
At the local level, in over half of the 3,135 counties in the U.S., consumers will face an exchange market that is either a duopoly or monopoly. In 78 percent of U.S. counties, exchange enrollees will have a choice of coverage from three or fewer carriers.
The exchange market in over 94 percent of U.S. counties will feature competition among five or fewer companies. In Alabama, about 96 percent of that state’s counties will have only one insurer offering coverage in the exchange.
(NYTs) …Of the roughly 2,500 counties served by the federal exchanges, more than half, or 58 percent, have plans offered by just one or two insurance carriers, according to an analysis by The Times of county-level data provided by the Department of Health and Human Services. In about 530 counties, only a single insurer is participating….
(HotAir) Last year, Politifact called “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan” the Lie of the Year for 2013, after having defended Barack Obama’s promise for two years. Perhaps in 2014, they might consider the second part of Obama’s promise a candidate in 2014. The second part, where Obama promised that “if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor,” is proving just as false….
Ken Davert has spina bifida. Melissa “Missy” Davert and their two children have a condition that makes their bones fragile and susceptible to breaking.
When the Davert family was told their insurance for their children would be cancelled, they turned to Obamacare and were denied.
Now, with a fixed income, the family is worried about being able to afford the out-of-pocket maximum for the private insurance their children need.
“… we’ve overcome many obstacles in life. And now it’s a shame that one of the obstacles we have to overcome is our own government to pay for health care,” Ken Davert said.
Every member in the Davert family has a medical condition requiring special care. But after losing their preferred insurance upon the enactment of the Affordable Care Act and being denied federal coverage, the Michigan family is now worried about high costs associated with their new private plan.
….“The Health Insurance Marketplaces provides new options for healthcare coverage that we believe our part-time members may prefer,” she wrote. “In fact, by offering them insurance, we could actually disqualify many of them from being eligible for newly available subsidies that could reduce their overall health insurance expense.”
Kozlak added that at present, fewer than 10 percent of part-time employees that are eligible have actually enrolled in the company’s healthcare plan.
“Our decision to discontinue this benefit comes after careful consideration of the impact to our stores’ part-time team members and to Target, the new options available for our part-time team, and the historically low number of team members who elected to enroll in the part-time plan,” Kozlak continued…..
The Target release talked about more choice?Please! This just isn’t true. In only a few states the choices remain about even (just more expensive on average now through the “ACA,” but many people went from 12-to-20 choices to 2, or even one! It does not increase competition, government mandates decrease competition. The exact opposite.
The two who lost their health insurance in my shop, one could afford the higher rates, the other…. who was a responsible guy who got himself covered, was penalized, and now cannot afford the new premiums. Even with a credit.
I love George Gilders comment sooo much, and it is applicable here:
♦ “A fundamental principle of information theory is that you can’t guarantee outcomes… in order for an experiment to yield knowledge, it has to be able to fail. If you have guaranteed experiments, you have zero knowledge”
No growth in what actually works… just tighter-and-tighter controls on what businesses and providers can provide. Making it more costly to do business and provide care.
(American Thinker) Everyone in America who isn’t brain dead – or lying – knows exactly what the president meant when he said we could keep our doctor if we wanted to. And I suspect even those who are brain dead know why he said it; in tandem with the promise we could keep our insurance plans, the promise that we could keep our family doctor was necessary for the passage of the Affordable Care Act. Without those two promises, it would have been open season on the bill and even many Democrats would have run for cover.
Crafted with lies. Voted on with lies. Sold with lies. And implemented with lies. Why should Emanuel’s lies surprise us?
Also, one can watch for themselves eight leading Democrats promising lower costs for healthcare: Rahm Emanuel, Henry Waxman, Ben Nelson, Kathleen Sebelius, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, and Barack Obama — as examples of people who DID promise lower costs/premiums.
Mr. Emanuel is wontingly and knowingly lying as well. Below is a short video of the internal battle in Democrats own lives, with the example of Pelosi being against larger premiums before she was for them.
California as an example of where all these promises breakdown:
(Breaitbart) …An estimated 70% of California doctors will not participate in the Obamacare-compliant health insurance policies offered by Covered California, according to the California Medical Association, as reported by the Washington Examiner. Though Covered California claims that 85% of doctors will participate, many doctors listed as participating are expected to decline payment, having learned that reimbursements will be very low.
The shortage of physicians was already expected to be a challenge for Obamacare, given that millions of new patients would potentially be demanding medical services. However, that shortage may now be even more acute than expected, particularly in Obamacare’s flagship state. Reimbursement rates in California for federal programs like Medicare were already among the lowest in the nation, the Examiner‘s Richard Pollock notes.
Not only is this a stress — financially — on states, but it is gonna undermine Obamacare… because in order for the bill to work, people have to sign up under the exchanges. Which is not the case:
(Gateway Pundit) Over 396,000 Americans signed up for Medicaid since October. Only 106,185 signed up for private insurance during the same time period. The Bell News reported:
According to an article on thectmirror.com, Connecticut is the only state in the union who is signing up more people for Private insurance than for Medicaid…
Broke as a Joke
State officials who attended the American Legislative Exchange Council’s (ALEC) annual conference in New Orleans, La. earlier this month expect Medicaid costs to rise dramatically as a result of ObamaCare.
As it is, Medicaid currently accounts for about 17 percent of all state-level spending, according to StateHealthFacts.org. This exceeds what states spend on higher education and transportation put together, according to ALEC.
Under ObamaCare, states are required to extend their Medicaid programs to anyone earning up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level come 2014. This comes out to about $30,000 for a family of four. In addition to the Medicaid expansion, the new federal health care law also creates an individual health insurance mandate, which will further encourage those who were already eligible for benefits prior to the new legislation to now enroll. Moreover, the federal subsidies included as part of the new health care law will not cover the entire cost of the Medicaid expansion.
“Washington [D.C.] is trying to take control of everything and that’s not healthy for anyone,” said Rep. Noble Ellington, a Louisiana Republican. “We are already in the middle of a recession as it is, and if ObamaCare does kick in it will mean less jobs, less business activity and less opportunity.”…. (NetRight Daily)
The New York Postnotes this ObamaCare created Medicaid time bomb:
The good news, if you want to call it that, is that roughly 1.6 million Americans have enrolled in ObamaCare so far.
The not-so-good news is that 1.46 million of them actually signed up for Medicaid. If that trend continues, it could bankrupt both federal and state governments.
Medicaid is already America’s third-largest government program, trailing only Social Security and Medicare, as a proportion of the federal budget. Almost 8 cents out of every dollar that the federal government spends goes to Medicaid. That’s more than $265 billion per year.
Indeed, already Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid account for 48% of federal spending. Within the next few years, those three programs will eat up more than half of federal expenditures.
And it’s going to get worse. Congress has shown no ability to reform Social Security or Medicare. With ObamaCare adding to Medicare spending, we are picking up speed on the road to insolvency.
The Congressional Budget Office projects that, in part because of ObamaCare, Medicaid spending will more than double over the next 10 years, topping $554 billion by 2023.
And that is just federal spending.
State governments pay another $160 billion for Medicaid today. For most states, Medicaid is the single-largest cost of government, crowding out education, transportation and everything else.
PJ Media also points out that many well-off (rich) people are pushed onto Medicaid:
The Affordable Care Act eliminates Medicaid’s asset test, and creates the roach motel of government welfare programs. Medicaid is no longer an “entitlement” you can choose to access. Instead, as Nicole Hopkins’ mother found out earlier this month, if you qualify under its new, lenient rules, HealthCare.gov forces your enrollment:
We checked and double-checked the information, but the only option still appeared to be Medicaid. She suggested clicking on “Apply for Coverage,” thinking that other options might appear.
Instead, almost mockingly, her “Eligibility Results” came back: “Congratulations, we received and reviewed your application and determined [you] will receive the health care coverage listed below: Washington Apple Health (the state of Washington’s version of Medicaid).”
The page lacked a cancel button or any way to opt out of Medicaid. It was done; she was enrolled, and there was nothing to do but click “Next” and then to sign out.
So Medicaid is now mandatory for those who apply at HealthCare.gov and qualify — and as long as your income remains sufficiently low, you can never leave. Never mind if you believe, as Ms. Hopkins does, that “other people should (not) have to pay for my care, whether it be through taxes or otherwise.”
This has led to the following “you can’t make up something this stupid” situation:
The father owns a $5 million house – entirely paid for. His kids attend expensive private schools. He owns three cars, but because he has earned his fortune and has stopped working, and his wife’s new start-up business has yet to produce an income stream, he is considered by the HealthCare.gov website to have no income.
The website put him on Medicaid.
There are no other options. This — not President Barack Obama’s “if you like your plan-doctor-provider, you can keep your plan-doctor-provider” — is how HealthCare.gov has been designed to work.
Obamacare is making our healthcare system sick… and it is not yet fully implemented!
“100 million people get their insurance from Medicare and Medicaid, 171 million get it from their employers,” Will said. “Watch the employers. Because if they start dumping people into Medicare and into Medicaid, and the doctors then say, ‘The burdens are too high, and the reimbursement is too low, we’re not seeing Medicaid patients,’ then all hell is going to break loose.”